A checking account is one of the most widely used financial products in the banking industry. It stores your hard-earned money and provides you with a helpful, itemized guide of your expenditures for the month; often, it’s the bank account that you rely on the most, day-to-day.
Having a checking account that can keep up with your every move is incredibly important, especially in today’s busy environment. An online checking account offers not only the utilitarian features depositors have come to expect, but also the added benefit that online banks have developed a great reputation for: convenience.
An August 2013 Pew Research Center survey revealed that 51 percent of U.S. adults bank online. Want to join this group of individuals who have chosen to simplify their banking experience? Here are the best online checking accounts available now.
5 Best Online Checking Account Products
1. Nationwide Bank Online Checking Account
Nationwide Bank is known for its unyielding commitment to making sure its customers are taken care of. The institution’s new E-Checking account operates like the perfect wingman, one that looks out for your best interests and positions you for success.
At every corner, Nationwide Bank stays “on your side” with an online checking account rate as high as 0.60% APY. There are zero monthly maintenance fees when you set up direct deposit, and use your debit card at least eight times each month or have at least $10,000 on deposit with Nationwide.
The combination of waived monthly fees and an impressive no-strings-attached 0.60% APY makes for an advantageous online checking account for individuals that have large balances on deposit.
As if being rewarded for how you already use your checking account isn’t enough, Nationwide ups the ante by offering debit card users as many as six non-Nationwide ATM transactions at no additional cost. Nationwide also boasts one of the largest U.S. surcharge-free networks, with 76,000 ATMs across the country.
“At Nationwide, we don’t work for shareholders, and that allows us to develop products like our E-Checking account that are designed to give our customers smart choices,” said Lynn Greenstein, president of Nationwide Bank. “As an online, direct bank, we don’t have the same cost structure as traditional banks, which means our customers aren’t paying for what they don’t need. We think this is a distinct competitive advantage and one that allows our customers to earn more on what they save and pay less for what they borrow.”
It only takes an opening deposit of $50 to get started with free online statements and bill pay.
2. Ally Bank Online Checking Account
Ally Bank’s mantra is simple: “talk straight, do right, be obviously better.” As one of the leading online banks today, Ally fulfilled its first promise to talk straight by implementing the Pew Charitable Trust’s guidelines for checking account transparency, which means straightforward information on fees, terms and conditions for deposit accounts.
“A key benefit of our checking product is Ally Mobile Banking, which allows customers to access account information, pay bills, make deposits and transfer money ‘on the go’ using their mobile device,” said Diane Morais, Ally Bank deposits and line of business integration executive. “Additionally, Ally Bank offers 24/7 customer service, which is an important feature when consumers have a question regarding any of their accounts with us.”
With no minimum deposit to get started with Ally’s Interest Checking account, no monthly service fees, and free extras like online and mobile banking, peer-to-peer transfers, no-fee ATM usage and electronic check deposit, Ally Bank takes every measure to do right by its customers.
3. Bank of Internet Online Checking Account
The Bank of Internet continues to uphold the benefits that online banks are renowned for with its Rewards Checking account. This seemingly unbelievable online checking account requires no minimum balances to keep track of, no monthly maintenance fees and unlimited ATM reimbursements. But the perks don’t stop there; Bank of Internet provides these features and services at no cost:
- Online and mobile checking account alerts
- Mobile check depositing functions
- Person-to-person fund transfers
- Electronic check depositing
- FinanceWorks, a money management tool
“Customers love Rewards Checking because it saves them money every month. It’s convenient, hassle-free banking,” said Kyle Kolsky, SVP Head of Consumer Deposits. “They can access their accounts online and make deposits with our mobile apps 24/7. We don’t charge monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees like other banks, and our customers can use any ATM in the nation for free. On top of that, we even pay interest on checking account balances. Nothing compares to Rewards Checking at Bank of Internet. You shouldn’t have to pay a bank to use your own money.”
The bank also offers depositors the chance at earning a combined total return of 1.25% APY, through its tiered rate rewards system. Earning the most out of deposits is put into customers’ hands, giving them the opportunity and power to maintain a healthy financial future.
4. Capital One Online Checking Account
The phrase “you can’t get anything for free” doesn’t apply when talking about the Capital One 360 Checking account. Unlike other big banks that have chosen to do away with interest-earning checking, Capital One provides its customers with the benefit of zero service fees, as well as no overdraft and ATM fees.
Plus, the bank offers new checking account customers a $50 bonus just for making any combination of three debit card purchases or Person2Person payments in the first 45 days of opening the account.
Capital One also ensures that its customers get nationwide access to their cash as a participant of the fee-free Allpoint ATM network, which includes access to 38,000 ATMs (in addition to Capital One’s 2,000 ATMs).
“Capital One 360 Checking is more than an account with no hidden fees or minimums,” said Laura DiLello for Capital One 360. “Our checking product and its features empower customers to stay on track to reach their dreams and achieve financial peace of mind. It’s banking where and when you want it with a no-excuse way to easily pay bills, set up automatic savings and deposit checks from your smartphone — all while saving our customers time and money.”
5. EverBank Online Checking Account
EverBank has altered the state of the banking industry with its Yield Pledge Checking account that promises to always keep interest rates for this deposit account within the top 5 percent of other competitive accounts. The unique online checking account keeps deposit rates high, based on the leading five banks and thrift institutions in the 10 biggest U.S. banking markets.
“EverBank is focused on delivering great value, excellent service and relevant information to our clients nationwide,” said Frank Trotter, president of EverBank Direct. “We are delighted that our Yield Pledge Checking account has been recognized in this best-of list.”
First-timers at EverBank get double the edge when it comes to smart banking, thanks to the online checking account’s bonus offer of 1.10% APY for the first six months of opening the account. An opening deposit of $1,500 can get new customers started, and technological conveniences like free online bill pay and mobile check deposits make this a cutting-edge online checking account to pursue.